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History of Skiing in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, we’re not afraid of firsts. In fact, when it comes to skiing, we’re known for them.  Blame it on our impressive snowpack, our famed routes, or our can-do attitude towards all things winter, but one thing is for sure: when you come skiing in the Granite State, greatness happens.

New Hampshire Skiing Through the Years:
  • 1914: John S. Apperson and several Dartmouth Outing Club members participate in the first recorded use of skis on Mount Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine.
  • 1925: The first downhill racing slalom course is created by Professor Charles A. Proctor for Dartmouth College’s Winter Carnival.
  • 1929: Hannes Schneider’s famed Arlberg technique makes its way stateside when the first Arlberg ski school is opened at Peckett’s Inn in Sugar Hill, NH.
  • 1931: Charlie Proctor and John Carleton complete the first known run down the headwall of Tuckerman Ravine’s perilously steep slopes.
  • 1934: Work is completed on Cannon Mountain’s Richard Taft Trail, the first ski trail attempted on a mountain exceeding 4,000’.
  • 1935: George Morton invents the first cable ski lift in the country for Black Mountain’s 1935-1936 ski season.
  • 1936: The Nansen Ski Jump opens in Milan, NH. With a drop of over 225 feet, this behemoth steel structure is the largest ski jump of its time.
  • 1937: Dartmouth ski coach Walter Prager uses dynamite charges to trigger avalanches prior to a race at Tuckerman Ravine. This is the first known attempt at avalanche control in the East.
  • 1938: The first Olympic ski jumping trials are held at the Nansen Ski Jump.
  • 1939: North Conway businessman Harvey Dow Gibson convinces Nazi officials to release Austrian ski legend Hannes Schneider. Schneider moves to North Conway and takes on the role of Skimeister, transforming the town into the epicenter of ski instruction for the entire United States.
  • 1940: Cranmore Mountain implements the first comprehensive snow grooming program in the country.
  • 1958: Wildcat installs the first gondola lift in North America.
  • 1991: Julie Parisien wins the World Cup giant slalom at Waterville Valley Resort.
  • 2017: American ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson takes a remarkable jump at a now-restored Nansen Ski Jump. The leap was the first jump at Nansen in 32 years.

2019 Spring Skiing Events in New Hampshire
With our lineup of 2019 ski events, it looks like New Hampshire is making history again.  Check out these upcoming world class events taking place right here in the Granite State.  For more information on ski events happening at resorts throughout New Hampshire, visit SkiNH.

March 17, 2019: Come to Bode Miller’s old stomping grounds for BodeFest 2019 at Cannon Mountain.  Yes, Olympic medalist and four-time world skiing champion Bode Miller will be there to play host to a variety of entertaining events (including a slope side BBQ, a Kids’ Fun Race, and outstanding raffle opportunities for young and old alike). All event registrations fees will go towards The Turtle Ridge Foundation, so mark your calendars and have some fun while you’re doing good.

Can’t make it to BodeFest this year? Stop by Cannon Mountain March 27-28th for the Junior National SG Championships, and witness the next generation of skiing greats.

March 23-26, 2019: After 28 years, the US Alpine Championships are returning to the scenic slopes of Waterville Valley Resort. The resort will play host to two classic events, as well as one new; the slalom, giant slalom, and parallel slalom. This is the first time parallel slalom has been featured on the U.S. Alpine Championships calendar, and for fans of skiing around the globe, the events at Waterville Valley are a can’t-miss milestone.

If slalom isn’t your thing, keep an eye out for the many other events that Waterville Valley Resort hosts throughout the year (including the 2019 U.S. Freestyle Championships, March 16-17).

Elevate your next winter adventure with an alpine ski trip, watch the pros race against the wind, or find your own path on hundreds of miles of nordic trails—the choice is yours. When it comes to skiing in New Hampshire, we always live free.

Start planning your own ski trip, and we’ll see you on the mountain!